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Hornets Looking for Sharper Play Against the Miami Heat
The Hornets dropped a close one in their preseason opener against the Boston Celtics on Sunday evening, but hopefully can tidy things up a bit tonight as they welcome the Miami Heat to Spectrum Center for a 7:30 PM EST tipoff.
Two standout performers from the team’s outing at TD Garden were point guard Terry Rozier, who had nine points, nine assists and zero turnovers in 22 minutes and rookie PJ Washington, who finished with 16 points. The Hornets dished out 29 assists on 40 made field goals (72.5% assist percentage), after finishing 24th in the NBA last season in this category (57.8%).
Charlotte committed a league-low 11.7 TPG last season, although coughed up an uncustomary (but understandable with it being preseason), 26 giveaways leading to 28 Celtic points in Boston. As expected, Coach Borrego has emphasized much neater play against Heat.
“We got a lot of work in today,” he said after Tuesday’s practice. “We’ve got a lot to clean up and a long way to go. Got a lot of good stuff from the film. I saw a lot of positives, especially defensively. Some good stuff, some poor things. Offensively, we’ve got very little put in right now. We installed a little bit, executed a little bit and competed.”
Miami’s prized offseason acquisition is four-time All-Star forward Jimmy Butler, who came to South Beach in a four-team sign-and-trade deal that also netted Meyers Leonard and sent Hassan Whiteside to Portland and Josh Richardson to Philadelphia. Kentucky guard Tyler Herro and Stanford forward KZ Okpala were added via the draft.
Game Notes: Washington and Herro both played at Kentucky last season and were taken with the 12th and 13th picks, respectively, this summer. Likewise, Malik Monk and Miami center Bam Adebayo were teammates in Lexington during the 2016-17 season.